A challenge is always meant to test your mettle as an individual; consequently, not everyone looks for one. The PRSSA Challenge was designed to be just that – a true challenge for all of the participants involved. Essentially, the name of the game meant that we were to compete against one another, and our desire to be a part of the winning team would drive us to work harder and think more quickly than the other teams. In the end, our efforts to create the most effective PR strategy would force us to hone our skills.
As a new member of the University of Delaware’s PRSSA chapter, as well as a recent transfer student, I jumped at the chance to register for the Challenge, which was “a one-hour strategic communication campaign planning competition” to be held on March 14. Even so, I must admit that I was a bit intimidated as the evening commenced. Not only was I well aware that I’m still not technically in the major, but I also have yet to even take a Public Relations course--how was I to help my team build a solid PR proposal?
Of course, I had very little time to ponder my question any further, as we were promptly given our task. For the evening’s competition, we were asked to create a plan that would increase the membership of ONE: University of Delaware Chapter. The ONE Chapter at UD helps to build Bono’s international awareness campaign about poverty and disease in Africa. Our clients shared their mission and encouraged us to be creative. Within the hour, we brainstormed ideas, further researched our client, and wrote a plan; after submitting our plans, we presented our ideas to the panel of professional judges, as well as ONE’s President Conor Leary.
Through our efforts to construct a PR strategy, I learned a lot from my own teammates--Kayley Conti, Lauren Rutkowski, and Stephanie Wight; however, I also gained new insights through the other teams’ proposals, too. While our plans for ONE had common elements, it was interesting to hear each team’s proposals. Through the challenge, I not only learned about public relations strategy, but I also became better acquainted with other members of our chapter. Ultimately, for me it was time very well spent, and I look forward to seeing what other things PRSSA has in store for me--I know still have a lot to learn and am eager to do so!
Written by Janie Sikes
Monday, March 14, 2011
For the past few weeks, Charlie Sheen has been a PR professional’s worst nightmare. Sheen has pretty much taken over the task of managing his image, even making this comment about his publicist of over seven years, Stan Rosenfeld:
"I respect Stan, he was doing the best he could ... but ... I probably would have come up with something better." (The Australian)
Ouch. Can you blame Rosenfeld for resigning after that? With Sheen’s lifestyle including regular violence, drug abuse, and prostitutes, Rosenfeld definitely was never at a loss for things to do.
But on the bright side for us PR pre-professionals, celebrity “meltdowns” can be a great way to learn. Sheen’s debacle can teach us a lot not only about crisis management, but also social media! Sheen’s debut on Twitter set a Guinness World Record for reaching one million followers in just over twenty-five hours! In addition, other Twitter profiles (@Sheentranslator) as well as web sites (livethesheendream.com) dedicated to Sheen’s personality are going viral just as quickly.
Sheen seems to be getting the hang of social media quite quickly, creating hashtags for his most recent catchphrases, sending #tigerblood, #winning, and #planbetter to the top of the trending lists. He has also apparently grasped the concept of tweeting pictures, such as his first post on Twitter showing a picture of him with one of his “goddesses”. Outside of Twitter, he has also utilized Ustream.com to air his live streaming show, Sheen’s Korner, which led to Sheen announcing a tour called My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option.
Sheen seems to be using social media so effectively (in his own way) that PR professionals are abuzz wondering if he’ll actually emerge from this whole debacle still “winning”. Jerome Cleary says, about Sheen’s firing from Two and a Half Men, “I do not think it adds to the damage because the public obviously loves it…now the door is white open for either reality TV or another TV show…” (AFP) Peter Shankman went as far as to wonder if this whole thing is just a PR stunt (AOL News). While that may seem a bit extreme, Charlie Sheen definitely makes you wonder once again, is there such a thing as bad publicity?
Written by Brittany Berger
Monday, March 7, 2011
Need to find a fancy restaurant for that anniversary you forgot? There’s an app for that. Need a flashlight to find your apartment key that you dropped? There’s an app for that. Lacking a cowbell for you town’s major football game? There’s an app for that. Those five words have only recently begun resonating in the minds of tech-savvy consumers with the advance of smart phones and tablet computers. This rise has not only led to a huge demand for innovative applications and competition, but companies have also used this to their advantage as a new way for consumers to access their products. Do these applications really benefit companies or are they attempting to jump on the bandwagon without checking to see what they are getting into?
With new tablet computers such as the Dell Streak 7 and the Motorola Xoom coming out to compete with the iPad, many companies are acknowledging that they need to jump into gear. Mobile computers (smartphones included) are the new PCs/Macs and no one wants to be left out of this generation. Corporations are utilizing this rapid rise in mobile usage through applications and mobile web-sites. Applications not only work as a reverse marketing strategy to get the consumers to come to them rather than them shoving ads in the virtual faces of customers, but they also provide an experience for the consumer rather than simply information. Stores such as Target and Express have broken into the app industry with “one touch shopping” by providing customers with the option of mobile applications rather than mobile websites, or in other words – experience over information. Disney has combined the best of both worlds into their app for Verizon smartphones. Although it is expensive, $9.99 for 6 months, it provides all wait times for rides, restaurants and FASTPASS tickets; maps are given, and you can even create a schedule for yourself of what shows you want to see. Leave it to Disney to create the world’s best application much like they created our childhoods.
According to the New York Times, within the next four years there is expected to be a rise of approximately $24,000,000,000 in app revenue. Clearly it is essential for businesses to jump on this bandwagon, headfirst with a blindfold even because this is the new generation – the mobile generation, the app generation. Are you on the bandwagon yet? If not, don’t worry. Take your time and research your smartphones and tablet computers before you buy, because this trend isn’t going anywhere. Need a place to research? There’s an app for that.